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Rain frustrates New Zealand, gives England hope

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McGlashan: England not out of the woods despite rain (1:05)

England are still looking at a lengthy batting period to save the first Test in Auckland despite rain almost completely washing out the third day (1:05)

New Zealand 233 for 4 (Nicholls 52*, Watling 18*) lead England 58 by 175 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Only 17 balls were possible on the third day at Eden Park, as steady rain and a damp outfield forced the umpires to call play off at 6.45 pm, five hours after the first shower. New Zealand scored four runs in those 2.5 overs, stretching a substantial first-innings lead to 175. Henry Nicholls raised his sixth Test fifty. BJ Watling was unbeaten on 18.

Bleak weather in Auckland over the last two days - only 26 overs were possible in total on days two and three - could force New Zealand to declare on a total of less than 300 for only the sixth time in their history. They still maintain firm control of the day-night Test, having bowled England out for 58 on the first morning. The forecast for the final two days remains promising, albeit with a chance of showers in the afternoon on Sunday.

"The position we're in now is a good one," New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee said after the third day was washed out. "The rain has been frustrating, but the work we put in on day one has made that frustration a little bit easier to swallow.

"We had the first use of the wicket and we probably got our lengths right, but we've seen throughout when England have bowled, there have always been challenging times, and our batters have done a pretty good job so far. Being caged up for a couple of days, it's important when we do go out and bowl, that we hit our areas from the start."